Friday, October 3, 2014

METAL AND SPEED - Behind the Scenes- Speed Week 2014

Bonneville Salt Flats - Speed Week 2014

This is a short behind the scenes video of photographer Holly Martin  during a photo shoot with Danny Thompson and his car Challenger II. All that water on the Salt Flats was from the rains leading up to and during the week we were all there. Eventually Bonneville Speed Week was cancelled by the SCTA.
Thank you to John Yoyogi Fortes/ Digital Boondocks for creating this cool video of my Speed Week photo shoot.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


The Challenger II is alive, and it hauls ass! Our first test run took place a few days ago at El Mirage dry lake, and we would like to thank the huge number of friends, volunteers, and race fans that made it possible. We'll have more photos, videos, and an in depth blog post over the next few days, but for now, enjoy some greased lightning!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

PRE - WAR Dry Lakes Racing

Pre -war Dry Lakes Hot Rod Racing in 8mm.
This is great video of vintage racing at Harper Dry Lake in Southern California.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Another successful engine test! Time to run her on the ground!

THOMPSON LSR - Challenger II - DUAL Engine Test - Nitro
Danny Thompson, the son of automotive racing legend, Mickey Thompson is resurrecting the world's fastest piston/wheel driven vehicle.The Challenger II is set to run at the Bonneville Salt flats in 2014.

Friday, May 30, 2014


The latest article on RACER online.

THOMPSON wheels4

LSR diary: Bonneville Blue Wheels

Danny Thompson
Images: Holly Martin
Thursday, 29 May 2014

It's been a while since his last update, but Danny Thompson and his small team of craftsmen continue to make progress toward restoring the late Mickey Thompson's Challenger II Land Speed Record car for another run at a world record. To read earlier chapters in the story, click here. -Ed.

THOMPSONLSRwheels2We love black and white, but this week we're making an exception to show off our new wheels. Designed by aerodynamicist Tim Gibson and machined by our skillful friends at S-K Specialities, these freshly anodized bad boys are officially ready to tear up the salt.
Each wheel starts out as two separate 120 pound pieces of 2024 T-351 aerospace grade aluminum billet. Over many hours that raw material is machined down to two parts; an eight-pound inner half and a 20-pound outer half. The outer half requires a bit of extra work because it features 10 additional milled pockets to further reduce weight. The two pieces are connected together by 30 reinforced aircraft bolts supplied by our pals at Coast Fabrication. Each 12-point bolt is torqued to exactly 55 pounds, resulting in 1,815 pounds of total clamping pressure. This compresses an o-ring, which provides the final seal.
If that sounds like a lot of work, let me assure you, it is. We're often asked why we didn't just make a one-piece wheel, and we have two good answers. First, our car uses a set of four experimental Mickey Thompson tires. They are 4.5 inches wide, banded with steel wire, and extensively cross woven with nylon. There's barely any rubber (1/32 of an inch), so forcing the tires to stretch over a one piece design could diminish their structural integrity. At 450mph, we want structural integrity.
The second reason has to do with space constraints. The shape and offset of the inner wheel has been adapted to fit around the highly compact front suspension system. Tim's extensive design work in this area allowed us to incorporate a new carbon fiber brake set, which should come in handy if the parachutes puncture or fail.
We had four sets of wheels made, mostly because changing tires takes way too long at the salt, especially during the FIA mandated one hour turnaround. It also gives us a chance to match outside diameters well in advance in a temperature-controlled environment. We're not sure if we'll have to change tires after every run (we hope not), but we want to be prepared for the possibility. It all comes down to how successfully we can control wheel slip, which is basically the story of every aspect of the car.
Thanks for reading. If you'd like more information about our project, you can find it at

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Danica Patrick...METAL AND SPEED

Danica spurs women to try racing

Matt Sullivan/NASCAR/Getty Images
Danica Patrick said she now recognizes that it's an honor to have so many female fans looking up to her.
It is Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Danica Patrick is making her way to the starting grid the way she always does, with punctuated speed. All athletes who reach the top level of their sport learn quickly that they must stay in perpetual motion. The more famous, the more speed they must carry. Smile, speak, sign autographs, but do it all on the move, lest you never arrive at your destination.
Patrick is seemingly always surrounded. On days like this, the impact she's had at big tracks is obvious. The less visible -- but perhaps more important -- effect of Patrick's popularity can be seen at smaller tracks and in youth racing. Girls and young women have a bigger presence than ever at the grassroots level, with much of that attributed to Patrick's popularity.
The crowd is particularly large on this night, despite its being merely a race-in event for the next night's NASCAR All-Star Race. Tonight, though, there is a buzz around Patrick. She is just six days removed from a seventh-place run at Kansas Speedway, the best finish of her two-year Sprint Cup career. Still, she can't help but pause, as she almost always does, when she hears one particular sound: the voices of little girls.
There are two, both around 9 years old and dressed in matching pink T-shirts. "Danica! Danica!"
She can't stop. There's no time. But she does slow down to turn and wave. "Hey, girls!" she shouted. "Nice shirts!" The girls squeal, they high-five and Patrick disappears toward pit road.
Read on...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Challenger II Engine Test- NITRO

THOMPSON LSR - Challenger II - Engine Test #2 - Nitro
Danny Thompson, the son of automotive racing legend, Mickey Thompson is resurrecting the world's fastest piston/wheel driven vehicle.The Challenger II is set to run at the Bonneville Salt flats in 2014.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Robb Report Features METAL AND SPEED

The 2014 April issue of the Robb Report Collection featured a great article on Land Speed Racing by Shaun Tolsen.
 Images of Bonneville, by Holly Martin, Peter Vincent and Dan Kaplan were featured throughout the article.
To read the article  please click here.

THOMPSON LSR Challenger II - Hot Rod Online

Danny Thompson's Trick Land Speed Record Trailer

More and Better Than Any Trailer You've Ever Seen

Friday, April 25, 2014

METAL AND SPEED...It in the genes.


Good friends, Larry Watson and Bill DeCarr worked together on many projects. David C. Martin’s model A Roadster is one of those projects.

In 1959 Bill DeCarr takes over Ed Schelhaas his old body shop on 10118 Artesia Blvd. in Belflower. Some time after that Larry Watson will be joining Bill in this shop. Larry will operate his custom painting business from the paint booth in the back. In the past Bill and Larry have already collaborated on many project, and now working in the same building it was making things a lot easier. This article shares some of the photos from the Larry Watson Personal Collection of David C. Martin’s 1929 Model A Roadster. One of the few Hot Rods that were done in the DeCarr/Watson shop. Read more here.